A sanctuary is very different from a shelter or a dog pound. Why?
Dog pounds take stray dogs in, and if they are unclaimed after a short period (typically 10 days), they are euthanized. Pounds accept every dog offered to them.
Dog shelters take in stray or unwanted dogs, and immediately euthanize dogs considered "un-adoptable". This includes sick dogs, elderly dogs, aggressive dogs, pregnant, etc. The dogs who pass that cut are given a few months to live, while adoptions are attempted. if the set time (usually around 6 months) passes, and the dogs are still unadopted, they are euthanized. Shelters intake most dogs offered to them.
Sanctuaries make a commitment to care for every dog during the course of the dog's natural lifetime, and provide medical care in case of illness or injury to extend the dog's life. Sanctuaries also provide elderly care for dogs, and all of this regardless of their "adoptable potential".
Therefore, sanctuaries do NOT accept every dog that is offered to them. typically, sanctuaries have a set capacity number, and keep their population to that. New dogs are only accepted to fill a vacant spot. Sanctuaries try to get dogs adopted, so that should be the primary way of population decrease.
We, the people that run BAPS, had a long and serious discussion when we first started here, and we decided we would be a Sanctuary. We decided we wanted to care in a personalized way for every single dog. We wanted to name them, care for them, learn their personalities, and give them the love and attention that they deserve.
Naturally, making this choice we had to accept the consequences... We had to set our occupancy number, and have to reject any dogs once we are past that limit.
We have estimated that to provide proper care, we must have about 300,000 korean won per year for one dog. this includes food, vaccines, heartworm pills, emergency medical care, and averaging in elderly years medical care. We also know that the average dog found stray is less than four years old, so if unadopted, they are expected to be with us for over 10 years. That is at least 3,000,000 that will come out of our pockets for caring for one new dog.
Here's some math. we have 70 dogs. this means that to provide complete care, we must come up with 21,000,000 per year. And that's just the cost of food and medical care. It doesn't include the cost of facilities, maintenance, and other non-dog care expenses.
I'll be honest with you. we don't have the 21 million. so facing the reality, we simply haven't been able to provide vaccinations for the dogs. We've only given heartworm prevention pills, and emergency medical care.
Every single week, we are asked to take in about 4 or 5 dogs. and we have to reject them. We hope that after understanding that we are committed to giving proper care to the animals we have, people can accept the situation. At the moment our target is to financially be able to give full vaccinations to every dog in our care, so we cannot commit to increasing the population. Frankly speaking, with our current income level, we really can only support about 20 dogs if we were to provide full vaccinations.
So please, please, please.... don't' pick up strays thinking you can give them to us. Don't tell people with unwanted dogs that they can bring them here.
I know this will break your heart. It does the same to me. Today Jin and I saw a gorgeous afghan hound tied to a post by an apartment guard. the guard said he was a stray... and he had already called the pound. I had to drive away with Jin crying. The only consolation we have is to think of Casper, Kester, Naomi, needles, and yes, even Angel.... and remember what we are trying to do for them
Thanks for reading